Jan. 12 groundbreaking ceremony conducted for new Sarasota County Mosquito Management Services building in Nokomis

Completion anticipated in winter of 2025

This is a rendering of the new Mosquito Management Services building. Image courtesy Sarasota County

On the morning of Jan. 12, Sarasota County Government leaders gathered at an Honore Avenue site in Nokomis to formally mark the start of construction of the latest county project — the new, 19,600-square-foot Mosquito Management Services facility.

Chuck Henry, director of the county’s Health and Human Services Department, under whose purview Mosquito Management operates, talked about the design of the new building, which will house not only administrative offices and workshop spaces, but also areas for community outreach and a larger aquaculture program, along with a state-of-the-art laboratory.

Among the added benefits of the facility, Henry noted, will be a viewing window, so visitors can get a closer look at the operations. Tours will be provided, as well, he said.

Staff anticipates the construction will be completed in the winter of 2025, Henry added.

County Commission Vice Chair Joe Neunder, in whose district the new facility is located, pointed out that the existing Mosquito Management Services building “is an aging structure. … This is the right time to make the replacement.”

The official address of the new building is 16500 Honore Ave. in Nokomis.

The nearly 1,000-page county document with details about the budget for this fiscal year — which began on Oct. 1, 2023 — explained that, in September, the permitting process for the facility continued to be challenging, but all of the details were “being worked out.” Additionally that document noted, “value engineering” continued, as staff worked to keep the project within budget. “[M]any cuts have occurred,” the document said.

This graphic shows the location of the structure. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The county’s Capital Improvement Program update this month on the project pointed out that the design expense was $820,050.07, while the construction contract with Halfacre Construction of Sarasota was $12,777,358. On Nov. 20, 2023, Halfacre received the official Notice to Proceed on the project, that document said.

Another section of the 2024 fiscal year budget document shows that the cost of equipment for the facility was put at $574,251.

The same page notes that $11,306,042 of revenue from bonds issued last year was dedicated to the initiative. Local Government Impact Fees allocated to it totaled $2,068,600, while $1.1 million came from long-term bonds.

The annual operating expenditures, that page says, are expected to be $50,000 a year from the 2025 through 2028 fiscal years.

Under the heading of Rationale for construction of the new building, that page adds, “Mosquito Management occupies nine (9) buildings at 4310 Ashton Road, a site shared by County Fleet and [Transit] Administration. Buildings include administration, lab, chicken coop, aquaculture, chemical storage, workshop, restroom/shower, covered storage, and a multi-unit garage. While the facilities are functioning, they are not efficient in operation and the 40-year-old buildings are in need of extensive deferred maintenance and improvements to meet current code and operational requirements.”

The county has a sentinel chicken program that enables staff to detect viruses such as West Nile, so the public can be advised to take extra precautions against infection.

Mosquito Management Services celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015.